While no modality can resolve all problems, homeopathy is the perfect training to evaluate every form of therapy. In my experience, the potential of homeopathy is to cure at the deepest level, with all symptoms resolving and the animal living a long and healthy life. Only a deep understanding of the principles of homeopathy and years of practice can enable you to reliably cure this way. However, from day one homeopathy can improve the overall well being and health of the animal in spite of the continuing presence of the original, uncured pathology such as renal disease, Cushing's, cancer, diabetes and more. Homeopathy can treat many acute conditions in your practice saving you time and speeding healing of the animal. This paper covers the guiding principles of homeopathy, shows the potential healing that can occur and gives you immediate practical applications such as how to evaluate the response of animals to any type of treatment. Expanded versions are on my web site, http://www.christinachambreau.com.
What Can Be Cured?
The following brief summaries are of cases. They are intended to give you an idea of the breadth of conditions that can be successfully treated with good homeopathy.
Perry was a 5-year-old Himalayan cat with a firm, swollen, fistulous right mandible. After achieving only temporary responses to antibiotics, a biopsy was performed with results showing undifferentiated carcinoma, probably squamous cell carcinoma. Within one month of being treated homeopathically, the fistula cleared up and he resumed his normal happy behaviors. He remains clear of cancer 10 years later.
Maggie presented with an infected, deeply ulcerated histiocytic sarcoma on her face. With homeopathic treatment, the tumor disappeared in 3 weeks, and has been completely gone for over 5 years now. Her overall health has improved tremendously.
Felix, a 5-month-old puppy, had a prolapsed rectum. Within two hours of receiving the remedy, the rectum was normal, and the next day he was as playful and friendly as ever. Over the next 3 years of follow-up, the rectum did not prolapse again.
Gus, a 4-month-old pug, had one testicle that had been retracted for 3 weeks. 2 weeks after the homeopathic remedy, the testicle descended.
Isis had chronic coughing since 6 weeks then, six hours after annual boosters at age 5, she was admitted to the hospital for oxygen with a severe asthma attack. With conventional treatment, she continued having asthmatic respiration with occasional hospitalizations for the next 2 years. Homeopathic remedies given while she was being tapered off the drugs resolved the asthma problem; and she has since had no conventional drugs, no asthmatic breathing, and less coughing. She survived the loss of her owner and relocation with no further episodes until her death at age 17.
Heidi was a 14-year-old spayed female that had a bleeding, swollen, angry looking growth attached to the third eyelid, covering the eye. There were also 2 firm growths on the right paw and in the middle of the chest. Remedies were prescribed over a 9-month period with total disappearance of the eyelid mass. She began behaving like a young dog, and could hear again. She did 4 mile walks with running, leading and being adventuresome until a traumatic death a year later.
The power of homeopathy lies in the potential to cure to this level. The "illness" resolves and most importantly, the animal feels better overall emotionally and physically. Most animals have an amelioration of symptoms and increased energy, and some animals have the deep level of curative response as illustrated above. Some animals never respond to homeopathy or any other modality including conventional; some respond to one modality and not others.
Although formally conceived by Samuel Hahnemann, MD, a brilliant German physician in 1800, the roots of homeopathy go back to Hippocrates, Paracelsus, the Mayans, Chinese, Greeks, Indians (Asian & American), and Egyptians. All used the philosophy of like cures like. Hippocrates and other Greek physicians observed that if a person chronically ill with one disease became infected with a more severe disease that had similar symptoms--the chronic disease would disappear upon recovery from the acute, stronger disease. Dr. Hahnemann wrote "Essay on a New Principle for Ascertaining the Curative Powers of Drugs, and Some Examination of the Previous Principles" in 1796. His understanding and guidelines have been followed since that time. Hahnemann's basic textbooks, The Organon of the Medical Art (first edition 1810 to 6th in 1842, the latter not being published until the early 1900s), The Chronic Diseases, and Materia Medica Pura are still the core textbooks used today.
1. Dilutions of herbs, minerals and body substances are tested on healthy people (provings) and the details of symptoms produced are recorded in Materia Medicas.
2. The animal's guardian is questioned in detail. Symptoms and individual characteristics are key to identifying the imbalance in the vital force to be counteracted in order for the animal to be healed. "The more striking, exceptional, unusual, and odd (characteristic) signs and symptoms of the disease case are to be especially and almost solely kept in view." (O 153)
3. The symptom picture of the ill animal is matched to the medicine that causes that same pattern of symptoms in the provers--like cures like--using repertories and Materia Medicas.
4. The correct strength and repetition of the chosen remedy is correctly given.
5. We then wait for the body to react and evaluate if the right remedy was chosen.
6. The remedy itself does not heal--it stimulates the body to heal itself.
Successful treatment depends on:
1. Knowledge of disease: The sum total of all the symptoms, past and present, represents the underlying imbalance that needs to be corrected.
2. Knowledge of medicines: in Materia Medicas.
3. Ability to match the remedy to the individual in the right strength (potency), amount and frequency.
4. Knowledge of the possible outcomes of treatment.
5. Knowledge of obstacles to recovery: For each individual, learning what practices are detrimental to continued health. Nutrition, vaccination, environment, other drugs, supplements, etc.
Tools used in homeopathic practice are:
1. Materia Medicas--books reporting the symptoms from the provings and from clinical experience.
2. Repertories--indexes of the Materia Medicas. They list symptoms with the remedies known to impact on those symptoms.
3. Remedies--purchased from reliable pharmacies.
4. Clinical judgment--from veterinary training & practice evaluating the response.
5. Study: courses, reading, and learning, practice, learning.
Knowledge of Disease
Disease begins as an energetic imbalance, then functional changes occur, then inflammation and finally tissue changes (pathology). Healing goes the reverse direction. There is one on-going "disease", not just separate, acute episodes. To really heal, the totality of symptoms must be addressed, not just the current problem(s). Different homeopathic medicines are often needed at different times because we only see part of the underlying imbalance. Each remedy choice is based both on the current symptoms and any past ones.
The key shift that must be made is to treat the individual animal, not merely the disease. Sometimes treating the pathology or disease (Dexasone injection or homeopathic Apis or a combination homeopathic remedy for a bee sting reaction) will make the symptoms disappear and not further weaken the energy field. This does not help the animal become healthier overall. When we can find the remedy whose energy pattern (as seen from the provings and described in the Materia Medicas) is very similar to the energy pattern of the individual, we are treating the susceptibility to become ill (as seen by the symptoms of the disease and the idiosyncrasies and history of the patient) as well as the current problem. They can stay alert, agile, interactive and relatively symptom free until they have a final illness and die, at an old age. This is a goal worth striving for.
Knowledge of the Medicines
There are 3 dilution forms made by pharmacies that can be purchased--centesimal or c, decimal or x, and LM (Q). The centesimal potencies are made as follows. One drop of the tincture is diluted in 99 drops of diluent (water or alcohol) and shaken (succussed). This makes the 1c potency. One drop of this is diluted in 99 drops of diluent and shaken to make a 2c, etc. The further the potentiation process is carried out, the stronger or more potent the remedy. A 1M potency of a remedy has a very strong energetic effect on the body compared to the milder potency of 6c, therefore a weak animal may need the 6c.
The decimal dilutions are produced by diluting one drop of the tincture with 9 drops of diluent, (instead of 99. The LM (Q) potencies are made by diluting a 3c with 50,000 parts diluent.
The potency of the remedy must match the energetic level of the ill animal to be most effective and least likely to cause stressful aggravations.
Remedies can be purchased many places. They need only be crushed and put in the front of the mouth, or diluted in water.
Many homeopathic books give quantity, frequency and potency for the condition, the disease, the symptom, size of the animal or the remedy. This is incorrect. As stated before, the amount does not matter and the frequency is dictated by your evaluation. Because people expect to be told a quantity, it is fine to tell them a specific amount to give, but also educate them that it is not important.
Remedies to learn at first: Arnica, Apis, Ledum, Hypericum, Nux vomica, Caulophyllum, Rhus tox, Phosphorus, Sulphur and Pulsatilla.
My favorite 3 books--Homeopathic Medicine for Dogs and Cats--Hamilton; Homeopathic Treatment of Small Animals--Day; Your Dog and Homeopathy--Westerhuis; and The Organon, edition VI--Hahnemann translated by O'Reilly. Read the philosophy parts of the first 3.
Brief Therapeutic Materia Medica
Aconite (monkshood): fearful, sudden, seizures
Apis (bee): swelling, allergic reaction, better cold applications, no thirst. Insect stings.
Arsenicum album (white arsenic): toxic effects, especially on GIT; Parvo; always restless, chilly, thirsty.
Belladonna (deadly nightshade): sudden, red, throbbing. Painful. Angry. Compulsive. Fevers. Seizures.
Bryonia (wild hops): Movement makes pains worse, a grouchy bear. Arthritis.
Cantharis (Spanish Fly): burns, burning pains, cystitis
Carbo vegetabilis (charcoal): cold, blue, collapse, neonate resuscitation
Causticum (lime/potassium mix): involuntary urination, weak muscles, warts, trembling, old age problems. Paralysis.
Ferrum phos (phos of iron): early inflammation, fever, <right, night, cold, dry.
Gelsemium (yellow jasmine): dull, droopy, drowsy, chilled. Diarrhea from anticipation. Cats pull hair from back.
Hepar sulph (Calc. sulphide): pain, hyper sensitive, chilly, grouchy, smelly. Interdigital cysts, infected ears, abscesses
Ignatia (St. Ignatius bean): grief and ailments from grief, paradoxical symptoms.
Ipecacuanha (Ipecac root): nausea, vomiting, bleeding, with a clean tongue.
Ledum (Marsh tea): punctures, insect bites, >cold applications, yet injury feels cold to touch. Lyme disease.
Magnesia phosphorica: colic, cramps, >light pressure and bend double.
Mercurius vivus (sol): drooling, offensive, mouth and rectum, < by cold and < by heat, thick and coated tongue.
Natrum muriaticum (salt): ailments from grief, wants salt, thirsty, loners, worse at the seashore, suppressed grief. Bite owners when petted.
Phosphorus: friendly, affectionate. Thirst for cold water. Bleeding. Vomiting.
Pulsatilla nigricans (windflower): clinging. Bland discharges, >consolation, >open air, >cold. Thirstless. Female problems. Prostatitis.
Rhus toxicodendron (Poison ivy): creaky gate, skin, restless, joints better from walking or motion.
Rumex (Yellow Dock): coughs from going from warm to cold air, tickling, teasing cough <pressure, <cold, prevents sleep.
Ruta graveolens (Rue-bitterwort): sprains, strains, bruised bones and eyes.
Sarsaparilla: urinary tract problems. Has to stand up to urinate. Horses losing hair from manes.
Silica (sand): abscesses. Foreign bodies. Chilly or can desire cold. Feline acne. Timid.
Thuja (Arbor vitae tree): hair oily, grows slowly, ringworm. Fearful--hides, cringes, freaks out in cages, and does not want to be held, though is affectionate.